Union Health Minister lauds efforts of scientists for developing first indigenous anti COVID drug
Minister of Defence, Rajnath Singh and Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan jointly launched the new COVID drug 2-DG at DRDO Bhawan. The anti-COVID-19 therapeutic application of the drug 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG) has been developed by Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS), a lab of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), along with Dr Reddy’s Laboratories (DRL), Hyderabad.
One box each of the sachets of the drug was handed over to Dr Randeep Guleria. Director, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi and Lt Gen Shri Sunil Kant of Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS).
Speaking at the launch Dr Harsh Vardhan remarked that today is a historic day in our fight against COVID and congratulated the scientific community and DRDO for their patience and perseverance for developing first indigenous medicine. He said that the drug has the potential to become a game changer in our response against COVID pandemic as it reduces the dependence of patients on oxygen administration and has the potential of getting absorbed differentially and in a selected manner. In the COVID infected cells, it inhibits virus synthesis and energy production for the process.
Dr Harsh Vardhan further stated that around thirty hospitals were involved in the clinical trials of this drug. He said that the drug will go to the selective cells and prevent synthesis of virus and reduce recovery time.
Expressing his gratitude towards the Defence Minister, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said that due to the efforts of Defence Ministry and DRDO, several PSA plants have been successfully installed in Delhi and across the country.
Dr Harsh Vardhan also cautioned against complacency and said that we will win over the war against COVID by collective efforts and by following COVID Appropriate Behaviour.
Secretary Department of Defence R&D and Chairman DRDO Dr G Satheesh Reddy expressed confidence that the anti-COVID drug will help the patients recover from the deadly virus, hoping that DRL, Hyderabad will take it forward and soon make the drug available for the patients.
Joining the event virtually, Chairman, DRL Kallam Satish Reddy said, “Dr. Reddy’s is glad to have partnered with DRDO and INMAS in the development of 2-DG. This is a re-affirmation of our company’s efforts to address COVID through a host of therapeutics and vaccine.”
Rajesh Bhushan, Union Secretary (Health & Family Welfare), Dr Sunil Kumar, DG (Health Services), Dr Randeep Guleria, Director, AIIMS New Delhi were present at the launch event. Besides Chairman, DRL, Director, Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology Dr Rakesh Mishra and many doctors, hospitals & labs across the country joined the event virtually.